We’ve always cooked outdoors: from balconies in Chicago, LA, and Philadelphia to backyards in suburban Atlanta. From the hottest summer days on record in the southern US to the coldest, snowiest winter nights in Pennsylvania’s Pocono mountains, Bill (usually) has been out there grilling, stir frying, broiling, and barbecuing. One evening while he was roasting a duck out on our back deck a black bear was unable to resist coming up for a closer smell. When they locked eyes on each other both bear and Bill screamed and ran in opposite directions. Seems that cooking outdoors not only keeps the heat and smells out of your house but also the wild animals!
Here in Carcassonne this house has a tiny courtyard but it’s big enough for us to put an induction cooker out there so that tonight’s fish doesn’t linger in the house the next day. One of our new neighbors thought for sure that we were from the UK because the weekend smell of bacon coming from our terrace had to mean that we were fixing an “English breakfast”. While in the US we used bottled or natural gas to power the barbecue, here our cooking is limited to electricity that doesn’t combine well with rain.
On those wet days we have to prepare dinner inside and since curry is one of our favorite meals it’s sometimes hard to avoid those odoriferous reminders of what we ate the night before still clinging to the curtains or stove top. That meant it was time for a new adventure at the supermarket to find an air freshener. It was easy to find them since the cans look pretty much the same as in the US but the fun was in the choice of “flavors”. As you would expect in France, lavender was easy to spot as were orange and the Sun of Provence. But what are Tender Caress, Summer’s Breath, and Spirit of Escape? I actually thought that we might have wandered into a shelf of feminine hygiene products.
Relief quickly set in when I next spotted a familiar brand name long associated with air fresheners in the US. Right beside the vanilla, apple, and spring flower scents were the store brand versions with one major exception: Voyage en Inde. How perfect is that? Now we could make the living room, bedrooms, and even the bathrooms match the curry from the kitchen. If the whole house smells the same then no one will notice, right? Next time we’re at the store I’m going to look for a spray called “Stinky Cheese.”
For the curious: The Voyage to India air freshener actually smells really nice. In the fine print under the name on the label you might just be able to make out that it says “sandalwood and spices”. I’d say that they used that wonderful aroma from the tree for the spray and left the curry as the inspiration for the color of the can.